Mass Protests Held in Vancouver to Oppose Trans Mountain pipeline

Protesters gathered outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Saturday to oppose the funding of the Trans Mountain (TMX) pipeline project, believing it is a “risky investment.”

Tsleil-Waututh First Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative, the rally’s organizer, said that the public protest marked the first time that indigenous leaders gathered together since the COVID-19 pandemic to oppose the pipeline project.

The protest aimed to oppose government and private investments on the TMX pipeline expansion project in Canada. Rueben George, manager of the Sacred Trust Initiative, said that funding the expansion project is not a good investment. He added that the project would cause destruction.

In February, Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that no more public funding would be invested in the pipeline project.

An analysis of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) last month on the pipeline expansion project showed that the project’s costs cannot be financed without the government’s backing.

“The project is unbankable. To make a go of it, TMX would need to hike shipping tolls by 100%, raising the price of Canadian oil way beyond the level it needs to compete in the global market. Without substantial governmental support, the pipeline is unsustainable,” said Omar Mawji, IEEFA’s energy finance analyst for Canada.

The Canadian government approved the expansion project in June 2019. TMX said that Canada would benefit from the project by providing work benefits, higher oil tax revenue, and higher revenue for oil producers.

IEEFA reported in March that Canadian taxpayers had already spent CAD 17.3 billion on the project since its enforcement. Another CAD 8.8 billion will be needed to complete the project, the report said.

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